2015-04-20   facebooktwitterrss

Visitors Gear Up for Cutting-Edge Grassland UK Event

Visitors and exhibitors are gearing up for next month’s Grassland UK event, with grass growth now flying in the warm spring weather.

More than 8000 visitors from across the UK and further afield are expected to attend the event near Shepton Mallet, Somerset, on May 7, to see cutting-edge technology and forage machinery in action. “Grassland UK is a one-stop shop for livestock farmers who want to get the most from their forage,” says Alan Lyons, Head of Shows at the Royal Bath & West Society. “It covers everything from new grass varieties and reseeding equipment to harvesting, ensiling, feeding, and muck spreading.”


The event will see around £16m worth of equipment in action across the 100-acre site, with clamp and muck spreading demonstrations taking place throughout the day. In addition, visitors will be able to discover the latest developments from more than 140 exhibitors from every sector of the industry.

Sponsor Origin Fertilisers has been sampling the grass at the host farm on a regular basis and will be presenting the results of on-site selenium fertiliser trials at the event. Agrii, which is also sponsoring the event and reseeded the grass, will be demonstrating how its precision farming team SoilQuest scanned and mapped the site to develop the targeted nutrient programme.

Other new products on display will include an ultrasonic grass meter, a heavy-duty telehandler, a compacting forage trailer, and a new weighted silage cover. Farmers looking to transfer large amounts of silage without a trailer will be fascinated by JW Fabrication’s massive new freestanding conveyor, while bar-coded bale wrap will enable others to keep tabs on different quality round bales.

The ever-popular seminar programme, sponsored by the British Grassland Society, DairyCo and Eblex, will cover a wide range of topics, from grassland weed control and precision farming to compaction alleviation, protein from forages, drainage, and CAP reform.

“Held on a working farm in Somerset, Grassland UK covers the full range of forage production, from seeds to feeds,” adds Mr Lyons. “With both dairy and livestock margins under immense pressure it is increasingly important for farmers to get the most from their grass, and this event will help them to do exactly that.”

What to do

  • See a massive collection of working grass and muck machinery

  • Meet over 140 leading suppliersto discuss the latest products and new ideas

  • Visit the sown plots for the latest varieties and agronomy advice

  • Gather valuable information from the seminar programme

  • Make the most of your manures in the muck area

  • Learn how to maximise returns from your grass, whether grazed or ensiled

Over 140 companies will be showcasing their products and services:

  • Seed supply and plant breeding

  • Crop establishment and pasture management

  • Crop protection and nutrition

  • Forage harvesting, mowing and baling

  • Pasture improvement

  • Handling equipment

  • Ensiling and clamping

  • Livestock feeding and management

  • Muck and slurry application & storage

  • Soil and nutrient management

  • Business advice and services

New products to look out for

  • Agricultural Supply Services’ new Feed Reader – a quad-mounted ultrasonic measuring device to evaluate grass dry matter yields on a large scale.

  • Merlo UK’s flagship TF50.8T-CS-156Cvtronic heavy-duty telehandler with frame levelling and stepless transmission.

  • Hi-Spec Engineering’s Kompactor trailer, which compacts forage loads by up to 40%.

  • Silostop’s new Silomat weighting system, which prevents air from lifting the front edge of the silage cover.

  • JW Fabrication’s standalone silage bulker – a conveyor system designed to move or load large quantities of forage easily.

  • Cordex’s xx ID bale wrap, which uses barcoding and a virtual identity card for complete traceability of silage bales.

Clamp Loading Demonstrations
Sponsored by Galebreaker who will be showcasing a New Product

A full programme of demonstrations will take place throughout the day featuring Agco, Claas, JCB, Merlo and New Holland.

Muck and slurry demonstrations

Demonstrations take place featuring rear and side discharge muck spreaders, vertical and horizontal beater and disc spreaders, umbilical slurry dribble bars and spike injectors.

Free Seminar Programme
Sponsored by British Grassland Society, DairyCo and Eblex

Session 1
Proposed Chair: Dr. Liz Genever, Eblex


Speaker and Theme

10.00 – 10.30

Rob Burtonshaw, Farm Services ltd and Nuffield Scholar

Drainage Options in Profitable Grassland Management

Is waterlogging restricting your potential to use fields and maximise grass production? This seminar will explore how to assess drainage issues, the options available and planning a drainage solution.

10.30 – 11.00

Joe Scarratt, Andersons

New CAP – Permanent Pasture, Greening and the role of Grassland.

Are you still getting to grips with the new CAP rules around grasslands and greening or interested in the potential of new agri-environment schemes? This seminar will explore the practical aspects of the new rules, possible opportunities for environmental funding and how to avoid RPA penalty pitfalls.

11.00 – 11.30

Dr. Debbie McConnell, DairyCo

Soil Compaction: Prevention and Remediation.

As much as 70% of UK grassland experiences some degree of compaction. This can be caused by animal trampling or machinery trafficking. Different types of compaction require different management approaches in order to restore soil health and productivity. Debbie will highlight the latest research, from trials and on-farm demonstrations, looking at tackling this hidden problem.

11.30 -12.00

Dr. Jenni Dungait, Rothamsted North Wyke

Grassland Farming in a Changing Climate: Managing Risks and Opportunities.

Dr. Jenni Dungait is a researcher at the North Wyke Farm Platform – a national capability facility exploring the response of different grassland farming systems to changing weather and climate patterns. In this seminar she will outline the key challenges ahead for grassland farms in the UK and look at opportunities such as soil carbon sequestration and new climate resilient grass varieties.

Session 2
Proposed Chair: Elaine Jewkes, Director BGS

12.30 – 13.00

Francis Dunne, Field Options

Reseeding: The What and What Not To Dos

Reseeding is arguably the most important operation in the lifecycle of productive grasslands. The productivity, usefulness and ongoing of your grass can hinge on what you get right or wrong at this important time. Francis will discuss the dos and don’ts of effective reseeding operations, looking at everything from seed to sod.

13.00 – 13.30

Patrick Goldsworthy, Independent/Voluntary Initiative

Grassland Weed Control and the Management of Pesticides.

Weeds may cost you in terms of lost productivity and feed quality, but the pesticides available to treat them also carry a cost –they are expensive to buy and use and a single drop can pollute an entire reservoir of drinking water. In this seminar Patrick will discuss practical aspects of weed identification and integrated control as well as outlining the legalisation covering the use and management of pesticide chemicals.

14.00 – 14.30

Max Dafforn, Courtyard partnership

Precision Farming in Grasslands: Where we are Now and Where we are Going.

Making better decisions about land and crop management can reduce resource waste and increase the return that farmers get on their expenditure on inputs. Precision farming technologies aim to provide accurate information to inform such decisions. This seminar explores some of the sensor technology available for use on farm.

Session 3
Proposed Chair: Dr Debbie McConnell, DairyCo

14.30 – 15.00

Prof. Liam Sinclair, Harper Adams University

Protein from Forages – Utilising high protein forages, their role in diets and performance and their cost saving potential.

Global demand for high protein fed stuffs is set to increase rapidly. As production struggles to keep pace, prices of our imported bagged feeds are likely to go up. So, how far can home grown alternatives go towards providing a solution? Nutrition researcher, Liam Sinclair, will provide insight into the role and viability of Lucerne, red clover and other home grown options.

15.00 – 15.30

Dr. Mark Lee, SRUC

Zero Grazing – Can you increase profitably by adding grass?

Opinion is split on zero grazing (aka cut and carry). Mark Lee has undertaken research comparing cut and carry with mixed ration feeding. In this seminar he will outline some of his findings plus ongoing investigations comparing outdoor grazing with cut and carry.

15.30 – 16.00

Piers Badnell, DairyCo

The True Value of Silage and How to Avoid Losses.

The best way to cut feed costs is to ensure that the maximum amount of grass grown on-farm ends up in being eaten. Quantity or quality losses through the ensiling and feeding process strip value from your grass. This seminar looks at the value of silage and outlines simple management steps you can take from silage making to feeding out that will reduce losses and retain quality.

* Programme correct at time of print.

Bath & West

Related Links
link Exciting Developments at Syngenta to feature at Cereals 2015
link Farmers Advised to Drive Red Diesel Savings into Grass Care
link British Crop Production Council Congress 2015
link Lakeland Dairies Suppliers Embrace SoilSmart Programme

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